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Exchange-rate policies and trade in the MENA countries

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Author Info

  • Amina Lahrèche-Révil

    ()
    (University of Picardie)

  • Juliette Milgram

    ()
    (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.)

Abstract

Compared to the new European members (NEM) and to the new candidate countries, the Middle-East and North African (MENA) countries are a very heterogeneous and fragmented EU frontier. As far as monetary issues are concerned, exchange rate regimes are very different and bilateral exchange rates quite volatile. Moreover, weak trade integration and generalized capital controls constitute major obstacles to economic and financial integration. Existing works yet suggest that anchoring to the euro would undoubtedly be the best exchange-rate strategy for most MENA countries. Monetary integration and trade integration are interdependent. This is especially the case when trade flows are sensitive to the volatility of exchange rates or to movements in relative prices. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the potential of monetary integration in the South Mediterranean area, in a context of trade liberalization and of a strong orientation of trade flows towards the EU. The empirical part of the paper would rely on a gravity equation of trade which would include exchange rates volatility and relative prices, in order to gauge the impact of de facto exchange-rate and monetary conditions on trade integration. The sample of countries is large (OECD, NEM, MENA and Asian countries) in order both to have robust estimates and to investigate whether the MENA countries exhibit a specific sensitivity of trade flows to exchange-rate volatility and exchange-rate misalignments. The impact of the competitiveness of third countries will also be investigated. This latter issue is especially important, though seldom assessed, when it comes to the potential trade-diverting effect of the latest EU enlargement on MENA trade wit the EU. The gravity setting also allows simulating the consequences for the trade of MENA countries of a deeper monetary integration, by comparing the impact on trade of a regional monetary integration and of a euro peg.

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File URL: http://www.ugr.es/~teoriahe/RePEc/gra/wpaper/thepapers06_07.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada. in its series ThE Papers with number 06/07.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 31 May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gra:wpaper:06/07

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Keywords: Exchange rate regime; trade; regional integration; Euro; MENA;

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References

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  1. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1997. "Is EMU more justifiable ex post than ex ante?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 753-760, April.
  2. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1996. "ASEAN in a Regional Perspective," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt7g38z09z, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. McKenzie, Michael D, 1999. " The Impact of Exchange Rate Volatility on International Trade Flows," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 71-106, February.
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  6. Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "One money, one market: the effect of common currencies on trade," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 7-46, 04.
  7. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," NBER Working Papers 5700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Dalia Hakura, 2004. "Growth in the Middle East and North Africa," IMF Working Papers 04/56, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Sapir, André & Sekkat, M. Khalid & Weber, Axel A, 1994. "The Impact of Exchange Rate Fluctuations on European Union Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 1041, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Amina Lahrèche-Révil, 2000. "The Euro as a Monetary Anchor in the CEECs," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 303-321, October.
  11. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Amina Lahrèche-Revil, 2003. "Trade Linkages and Exchange Rates in Asia: The Role of China," Working Papers 2003-21, CEPII research center.
  12. Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2003. "The proper panel econometric specification of the gravity equation: A three-way model with bilateral interaction effects," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 571-580, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Estrella Gómez Herrera, 2010. "Comparing alternative methods to estimate gravity models of bilateral trade," ThE Papers 10/05, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  2. Matthieu Bussière & Jarko Fidrmuc & Bernd Schnatz, 2008. "EU Enlargement and Trade Integration: Lessons from a Gravity Model," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 562-576, 08.
  3. Estrella Gómez & Juliette Milgram Baleix, 2012. "EMU impact of on third countries’ exports. A gravity approach," ThE Papers 10/26, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  4. Christopher Adam & David Cobham, 2008. "Alternative Exchange Rate Regimes for MENA countries: Gravity Model Estimates of the Trade Effects," CERT Discussion Papers 0803, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.

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